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Sahar Meat Market II, Albany Park

Sahar Meat Market II, Albany Park
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  • Sahar Meat Market II, Albany Park

    Post #1 - September 29th, 2005, 10:01 am
    Post #1 - September 29th, 2005, 10:01 am Post #1 - September 29th, 2005, 10:01 am
    Sahar Meat Market II in Albany Park

    For the past six years or more, Amata and I have been regular visitors to Albany Park and the famous Waaha 'l Aurans (the oasis around Lawrence and Kedzie) for grocery shopping; of course, a great bonus to shopping in this fascinating neighbourhood is the possibility of also enjoying a quick, informal meal at any one of a number of good, small ‘ethnic’ restaurants. Yesterday, we did both, starting with a tasty lunch at Semiramis (link) before proceeding on to our main destination, Sahar Meat Market II.

    Image

    Sahar Meat Market II is located on the eastside of Kedzie, just north of Lawrence, in the rather amazing strip-mall that I think of as the JeffB Chowmall, since Jeff has with justification sung the praises of this little shopping centre on account of its varied offerings: a fine Palestinian sweets and pastry shop, an Albanian pizzeria, a Korean grocery and a Korean restaurant to boot. Slightly overlooked, I believe, in discussions of this stripmall has been Sahar Meat Market II (SM2), which is a first rate butcher shop and also a very nice Middle Eastern grocery strore.

    As a butcher shop, I find SM2 well worth visiting on all the relevant counts: 1) the quality of the meat that we’ve bought there has been excellent; 2) the prices are generally quite reasonable and in some cases downright cheap; 3) the range of halal (thus, obviously, pas de porc, mes amis) flesh and offal which they offer is considerable and satisfying. Seek ye sheeps' testicles? Go thither. Have ye hunger for calves' hearts and kidneys? Get you hence. Lust ye after lambs' intestines? Lay your course for SM2. Joking aside, this shop has a good range of the 'variety cuts' on hand.

    But more pedestrian tastes can also be satisfied there. The chicken they sell is halal Amish -- yes, that’s a pretty widespread product in Chicagoland that depends on ecumenical coöperation -- and the prices and quality are both great. Needless to say, the lamb is fresh and excellent; yesterday, we bought very meaty lamb shanks for about $3.50 per pound. Another item from SM2 that we’ve enjoyed are their housemade Maghrebian sausages, that is, merguez, which are made of finely ground beef and spiced in a very pleasing way. Last night, we supped on, among other things, a nice bowl of something I made up and call La rato-rato à la Maghrebiènne (see illustration below, which is slightly out of focus since I was tr-tr-trembling with anticipation of savouring this humble but delicious dish):

    La rato-rato à la Maghrebiènne
    (or perhaps I should call it esh-shakshooka bi’l mirkaas or even el pisto a la morisca)
    Image

    SM2 also has a remarkably well-stocked grocery section, despite the small size of the store. They carry a wide range of basic and more exotic Middle Eastern groceries and in the coolers they stock a good selection of basic dairy products and many frozen foods as well (including sheeps' heads!). One of the more interesting items I came across there yesterday was a bottle of extra virgin olive oil from Nablus, which is the name of a small Palestinian city and the surrounding district. It’s rare to see food products from Arab Palestine and I look forward to trying this oil. Given that the etymological source of the name Nablus is, in fact, Neapolis, I could not pass up this opportunity.

    Now, I feel obliged to add the following. Over the past six years, we have been fairly regular customers at City Noor Meats (which I’ve posted on here and before that on Planet Leff), which is on the westside of Kedzie, toward the end of the first block south of Lawrence (4700 N). I have never been in any way unhappy with any meat I’ve purchased at City Noor and I've been equally pleased with the prices and the always very friendly service; I fully intend to continue to visit that shop. But recently I’ve found City Noor’s selection has been limited and the last several times I sought merguez there they didn’t have any (though fresh merguez sells out at all the butcher shops in that neighbourhood). Next time I’m up that way, I intend to visit both (N.B. I always get my perfectly balanced and artfully trimmed mixture of ground meat for kefta at City Noor). Indeed, buying meat at mainstream Gringo groceries is generally such a thorough waste of money, I should just make the effort to get up more often to the oasis around Lawrence and Kedzie and support both stores, as well as others in the neighbourhood (e.g., Al Khayam, Andy’s, Jaafer).

    Antonius

    Sahar Meat Market II
    All Your Fresh Halal Meat, Poultry & Middle Eastern Grocery
    Ghassan Salameh

    4829 North Kedzie
    Chicago, IL 60625
    Tel: 773.583.6098
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #2 - September 29th, 2005, 8:15 pm
    Post #2 - September 29th, 2005, 8:15 pm Post #2 - September 29th, 2005, 8:15 pm
    Antonius wrote:One of the more interesting items I came across there yesterday was a bottle of extra virgin olive oil from Nablus, which is the name of a small Palestinian city and the surrounding district. It’s rare to see food products from Arab Palestine and I look forward to trying this oil. Given that the etymological source of the name Nablus is, in fact, Neapolis, I could not pass up this opportunity.

    Antonious,

    I've been many times to the Korean grocer/Clark Market, Kang Nam/Korean BBQ, with, in my opinion, the best Dolsot BimBop in town, even been to the Palestinian sweet shop and Albanian Pizzeria, but I just realized never, not once to Sahar. Though, after reading your post, I plan on correcting that very soon.

    Your mention of Nablus olive oil reminds me of another oversight of mine, a post I've been meaning to do about Sahar Grocery and it's neighbor to the North, Feyrous Pastries. A few months ago, in conversation with m'th'su, I mentioned Feyrous as a cool little shop with good falafel, Middle Eastern pastries and small selection of grocery and prepared items, not to mention two kinds of pita. One hand-made from Salaam, a bakery in Oak Lawn which Monica Eng wrote about some time ago, for $1.60 per and another for $1 per pack from Al-Khyam Bakery.

    M'th'su then mentioned Sahar as a good source for olive oil, particularly Nablus. When I stopped at Sahar to buy Nablus I not only got a bottle of olive oil, but an interesting conversation with Mohammad, who I believe is the owner of Sahar, about Nablus. Mohammad said Nablus's olives come from Palestine, but the olive oil is made in Lebanon. Mohammad said "nothing was made in Palestine" I also bought Sultan olive oil, which is made in Turkey.

    Mohammad went on to say Sultan was very popular with both Arabs and Greeks, but that those who tried Nablus olive oil liked it better than Sultan, even though Sultan is the more popular brand. Shar carries pita from Watan, which says Pita Pocket on the sign, the bakery across the street from Rashad on 63rd. Mohammad said he likes that pita the best as "it has more old world flavor".

    If you get a chance to chat Mohammad you will find him quite interesting. In our conversation he referenced John Wayne, when I asked him about the John Wayne references he said his father, like many Palestinians, loved John Wayne and it had simply seeped into his conversation. I knew Germans loved David Hasselhoff, but Palestinians and John Wayne, who knew. :)

    Thanks for the interesting post on Sahar and for prodding my memory.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Sahar Grocery
    4508 N Kedzie
    Chicago, IL
    773-583-7772

    Feyrous Pastries
    4510 N Kedzie
    Chicago, IL
    773-478-4232

    Al-Khyam Bakery
    4746 N Kedzie Ave
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-583-3099
    Last edited by G Wiv on October 3rd, 2005, 4:05 am, edited 3 times in total.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - September 29th, 2005, 8:43 pm
    Post #3 - September 29th, 2005, 8:43 pm Post #3 - September 29th, 2005, 8:43 pm
    Gary:

    I'm really glad to hear all that. Many times I've gone by Sahar (I?) next to Feyrous and thought that they both looked really inviting and that I should stop in. I even thought that when driving by on the way north on Kedzie yesterday but I've never gotten around to it. I assume that that southernly Sahar is related to the number 2 up north of Lawrence, but who knows -- the connexion could be purely historical or they could both be owned by one and the same guy.

    Also, the information about Nablus is interesting. I'm not surprised by the statement "nothing is made in Palestine": Nablus is a place with problems that sound quite unimaginable. But I'm now looking forward even more to trying this oil; that area is historically supposed to produce good olives and good oil and I like the idea of supporting a business in a place that needs to get its economy going (more work, better living conditions, less violence). The Turkish Sultan brand oil is good, eminently serviceable stuff, so if Nalblus is better, that's pretty darn good.

    I also need to go to the Korean places up on the strip mall north of Lawrence. Never been to either the grocery or the restaurant.

    John Wayne and David Hasselhoff leave me cold... Me, I'm a Paula Abdul fan (not)...

    :)

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #4 - September 29th, 2005, 9:26 pm
    Post #4 - September 29th, 2005, 9:26 pm Post #4 - September 29th, 2005, 9:26 pm
    An interesting point about Sahar I et al...when last I stopped in, maybe six months ago, the pita they sold was from, I believe, South Side Bakery, or some similarly generic name.

    At my most recent meal at City Noor Kebab, Maysoun also informed me that she got her bread from the same source, or perhaps that she did until recently, at which point they had stopped making north side deliveries. If I recall correctly, she said she made periodic trips to the south side to pick up this bread. I was surprised at this effort, since the (to my palate) fine product at Al-Khayam is so readily available.

    Both the folks at Sahar and City Noor were adamant that South Side Bakery produces a much better bread. The bread does seem a bit, I don't know, breadier, than that at Al-Khayam, in a way that I at first didn't like quite as much. The Al-Khayam product is a less-leavened flatbread which grills up nicely and forms a sturdy casing for its contents (assuming you're making a sandwich out of it), while the South Side Bakery has a more pillowy texture and my memory suggests, by both taste and sight, that the flour used is more refined and white--that is, it struck me as having a little less color and flavor than Al-Khayam's. Admittedly, I haven't made a side-by-side comparison, and I do sometimes lose track of where my pita's coming from.

    Nonetheless, I found the emphasis on south side pita intriguing. I asked about South Side Bakery (and I'm pretty sure both places indicated this was the proper name) at Steve's Shish Kabob recently (an excellent meal, by the way), and they hadn't heard of it.

    Cheers,

    Aaron
  • Post #5 - September 29th, 2005, 11:17 pm
    Post #5 - September 29th, 2005, 11:17 pm Post #5 - September 29th, 2005, 11:17 pm
    Aaron, I think the signs say something like "We have South Side Bread."

    I remember reading an article by Monica Eng in the Tribune over a year ago about the bakery which makes this famous bread. The full article now is only available for a fee, but the (free) summary is enough to answer your question about where this bakery is.

    The art of 'South Side bread' ; In the kitchen with Ahmad Abdel-Razek, maker of arguably the best pita around;
    Monica Eng, Tribune staff reporter. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Ill.: May 7, 2004.


    ....

    [Ahmad Abdel-Razek] at work in Oak Lawn's Salaam Bakery. His father was a baker and his brothers are all bakers. "No one ever taught me how to do it," he says, "I just watched and learned. One day my father said, 'Hey, how'd you learn how to do that?' " "I can make any bread, any bread in the world. French, Italian, German, sandwich, even ...


    Salaam Bakery
    10832 S Cicero Ave
    Oak Lawn, IL 60453
    (708) 952-4959
  • Post #6 - September 30th, 2005, 8:12 am
    Post #6 - September 30th, 2005, 8:12 am Post #6 - September 30th, 2005, 8:12 am
    I had wondered if this Salaam was the bakery in question, but I was almost certain the woman at City Noor had used South Side in the proper name of the place. This explanation certainly makes sense. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
  • Post #7 - September 30th, 2005, 8:40 am
    Post #7 - September 30th, 2005, 8:40 am Post #7 - September 30th, 2005, 8:40 am
    You know there is another Arab market in a strip mall just north of the strip mall discussed/same side of the street that's nice too. I bring it only because, in the mention of bread baking, this place bakes their own. And not only do they have pita, but they have zatar bread and pita with a ground meat. I wish I can remember the name of the place...

    Rob
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #8 - September 30th, 2005, 8:56 am
    Post #8 - September 30th, 2005, 8:56 am Post #8 - September 30th, 2005, 8:56 am
    Vital Information wrote:You know there is another Arab market in a strip mall just north of the strip mall discussed/same side of the street that's nice too.

    Rob,

    I believe you are thinking of Pita House Bakery.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Pita House Bakery
    4911 N Kedzie Ave
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-463-6900
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - September 30th, 2005, 8:58 am
    Post #9 - September 30th, 2005, 8:58 am Post #9 - September 30th, 2005, 8:58 am
    Yep. Sahar is a nice little store, following the same packed-to-the-rafters style of Thai Grocery and El Mercado. A lot of stuff in a little space. I wish they carried better basturma, but the Jersey product Sahar offers isn't all bad. Excellent shisha collection, also.

    A&A, you must visit the Korean end of the mall. The panchan counter at Clark Market is tops. They have an interesting aray of seafood as well. And, as Gary says, the dolsots at Kang Nam are the best in town, due to the unmatched raspa/soccarat/pegao (Cuban/Catalan/Puerto Rican for you lingo fans). Koreans also have a name for the crispity, crunchity crust that forms on the bottom of a pot of glutinous rice, but I cannot now find it.

    I think a long time ago, maybe, Gary and I disagreed about Kang Nam, but Gary came around. (There is another Dolsot specialist on Lawrence, whose name I forget.)
  • Post #10 - September 30th, 2005, 9:11 am
    Post #10 - September 30th, 2005, 9:11 am Post #10 - September 30th, 2005, 9:11 am
    Thanks to G Wiv I can say that Monica Eng's article on "Southside bread" makes it clear that the head-baker down there makes his product as much as possible by hand and as little as possible with recourse to industrial technology. In a way, reading about Abdel-Razek's appoach to his work, I was reminded of my friend, Frank Masi. I find it amusing too that it seems the popular way to refer to the Salaam bakery is with the phrase "Southside bread," for in the past, the Masi's customers (and still some old-timers) refer to bakery in terms of "Western Avenue bread." Perhaps this is a little Chicago dialect feature, as it were.

    *

    I should have noted above in the original post in this thread that also located in the stripmall on the eastern side of Kedzie just above Lawrence is a second business owned by the same people who own Sahar Meat Market II, namely Sahar Pita, which is -- not surprisingly -- a bread bakery. The products are sold in SM2 and we bought a pack of the basic style pita the other day. It's a little fluffier than Al Khayam's basic pita and good, though I didn't try it the same day we bought it, and so it would be unfair for me to try to compare this bread, sampled only in day-old form, with the breads of other bakeries.

    Sahar Pita
    4835 North Kedzie
    Chicago, IL 60625
    Tel. (bakery): 773.583.6098
    Tel. (Meat Market): 773.583.6695

    *

    One cannot help but wonder whether religious affiliation plays a rôle in the choice of bakery for some, not in any nefarious or prejudicial way, necessarily, but rather simply as a result of social networks and patterns of association. City Noor sells Southside bread; both are Muslim owned businesses. Semiramis sells (I hear tell) Al Khayam's bread; both are, from all I can tell, clearly owned by Christian Arabs. Incidentally, Sahar is pretty clearly Muslim owned. We're lucky to have all these businesses in town.

    *

    Apparently, there are those who adamantly assert that the Southside pita bread is superior to that of Al Khayam. I'll withhold judgement until I can buy examples of both and taste them side by side when they are still both optimally fresh. I do think it true that Al Khayam's pita is less airy, a little flatter, than the Southside product and that of Sahar. But I must add that I am not an especially great fan of basic pita bread. I think very highly of Al Khayam but it is especially someof the other products they produce that I most enjoy: the extra large and very thin pitas (used more like burrito wraps at Al Khaymeih and Semiramis) and the large, thin wholewheat loaves, for example.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #11 - September 30th, 2005, 9:32 am
    Post #11 - September 30th, 2005, 9:32 am Post #11 - September 30th, 2005, 9:32 am
    Antonius wrote:*

    I should have noted above in the original post in this thread that also located in the stripmall on the eastern side of Kedzie just above Lawrence is a second business owned by the same people who own Sahar Meat Market II, namely Sahar Pita, which is -- not surprisingly -- a bread bakery. The products are sold in SM2 and we bought a pack of the basic style pita the other day. It's a little fluffier than Al Khayam's basic pita and good, though I didn't try it the same day we bought it, and so it would be unfair for me to try to compare this bread, sampled only in day-old form, with the breads of other bakeries.

    Sahar Pita
    4835 North Kedzie
    Chicago, IL 60625
    Tel. (bakery): 773.583.6098
    Tel. (Meat Market): 773.583.6695



    Yes, that's the place. Until I started paying more attention to the details of the thread, I thought you were talking about the more northern location anyways because it is a full scale shop and bigger to boot.

    Rob
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #12 - September 30th, 2005, 9:39 am
    Post #12 - September 30th, 2005, 9:39 am Post #12 - September 30th, 2005, 9:39 am
    JeffB wrote:I think a long time ago, maybe, Gary and I disagreed about Kang Nam, but Gary came around.

    Jeff,

    Maybe, but either way we are on the same Kang Nam page now, especially concerning the Dolsot BimBop, which I pretty much rave about in this post I quite like Kang Nam's live coal Korean BBQ and their panchan spread is very nice as well.

    JeffB wrote:(There is another Dolsot specialist on Lawrence, whose name I forget.)

    San Chae Dolsot. Here's a past post on San Chae Dolsot. I was last there about a month ago and, frankly, it was slightly below, both food and service wise, my past experiences. I also have it on good authority that they are very serious about their 10:30pm closing time. :)

    Speaking of coming around in opinion, I've been lukewarm on San Soo Gap San for a while, but last night had a really great meal there. No Korean BBQ, though they do use live coals, but two kinds of soup, the spicy, warming and delicious Yuk Gae Jang (hot and spicy shredded beef soup) which comes highly recommended by Pigmon, and Kal Bi Tang (beef short rib soup) which was mild, spice wise, but filling and hearty.

    We also had Chop Chae (stir fried noodles with vegetables) which we asked for spicy and Soo Yuk (boiled beef tongue with tendon) as appetizers. The soft, rich tongue was incredible, served with a spicy, fragrant dipping sauce. One of the best bites of the week.

    As an aside, I first attempted to go to Jang Mo Nim at 10pm and it was closed. I'm pretty sure they used to be open quite late, as in 3am, either I was mistaken, or they changed their hours.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    San Chae Dolsot
    3737 W Lawrence Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-588-5223

    Kang Nam Galbi
    4849 N. Kedzie
    Chicago, Il
    773-539-2524

    San Soo Gap San
    5247 N Western
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-334-1589

    Jang Mo Nim
    6320 N Lincoln
    Chicago IL, 60659
    773-509-0211
    Last edited by G Wiv on September 30th, 2005, 10:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #13 - September 30th, 2005, 9:44 am
    Post #13 - September 30th, 2005, 9:44 am Post #13 - September 30th, 2005, 9:44 am
    G Wiv wrote:Here's[/url] a past post on San Chae Dolsot. I was last there about a month ago and, frankly, it was slightly below, both food and service wise, my past experiences. I also have it on good authority that they are very serious about their 10:30pm closing time. :)


    San Chae Dolsot is serious? Strict would be a better word. Even if you're still scraping the rice from the bowl, when the clock strikes 10:30, you've gotta put down your utensils and get out. And if you don't leave after the first person tells you, there will be another person along by 10:32 to re-iterate. The dolsot wasn't even that great, but I really enjoyed the pork bulgogki.

    I'm a big fan of Kang Nam, but I have shamefully never orderd the Dolsot. I think a visit is in order in the very near future.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #14 - September 30th, 2005, 11:23 am
    Post #14 - September 30th, 2005, 11:23 am Post #14 - September 30th, 2005, 11:23 am
    Gary, I have never been to San Soo Gap San. A big mistake it seems. It sounds like a good replacement for a lost favorite, Lincoln Noodle House.
  • Post #15 - October 2nd, 2005, 2:27 pm
    Post #15 - October 2nd, 2005, 2:27 pm Post #15 - October 2nd, 2005, 2:27 pm
    Until recently it was my custom to make a weekly stop at Sahar Grocery for a bag of the vaunted Southside bread. Mohammed was always good enough to let me know whether the delivery had been made that morning or the day before, and I made my purchase accordingly. Then perhaps month or two ago I popped in only to be told that he no longer carried it since he was now carrying his brother's bread, baked daily at Sahar Pita, adjoining Sahar Meat Market II. The relationship shouldn't have been a surprise since Mohammed and the proprietors at Sahar Meat Market I (formerly across the street) and later II, were always recommending the other for flesh and dry goods, respectively.

    Mohammed assured me that his brother's bread was superior to Southside bread, though I found it a bit too puffy and dry to my taste. Shortly thereafter I was happy to notice that City Noor Meat Market posted a sign saying they now carry it.

    I used to be a big fan of Nablus olive oil, which I also bought from Mohammed. Then, I got a rancid bottle. I mentioned this to Wiv who pointed out that Mohammed was displaying his oils in the front window, which faces east and absorbs the morning sun. I've patronized Mohammed's store for over three years and if memory serves, he's rearranged his store shelves at least four times.

    SM2 is also a reliable source for forty-pound bags of lump hardwood charcoal, for those wishing to avoid the trip to Berger Brothers.
  • Post #16 - October 2nd, 2005, 9:43 pm
    Post #16 - October 2nd, 2005, 9:43 pm Post #16 - October 2nd, 2005, 9:43 pm
    m'th'su wrote:SM2 is also a reliable source for forty-pound bags of lump hardwood charcoal, for those wishing to avoid the trip to Berger Brothers.


    That's a great tip. What kind of shape is the charcoal in? I usually get mine at Farmer's Garden Market or something like that, just east of Western on the north side of Lawrence. By about 2/3 through the bag, though, you're getting a lot of crumbs.

    Re the bread:

    Do you know if Salaam delivers to City Noor? My understanding was that when Sahar's brother started baking, northside deliveries stopped, and Maysoun at City Noor had to drive down to the South Side to get her bread. I wonder if she's still making the trip or has arranged for delivery. It's interesting that she didn't switch to Sahar bread.
  • Post #17 - October 3rd, 2005, 10:32 am
    Post #17 - October 3rd, 2005, 10:32 am Post #17 - October 3rd, 2005, 10:32 am
    SM2 sells Patio Chef charcoal in the maroon bag, one of the same brands Berger Brothers does, which is to say, it's good stuff. He ususally has several bags tucked behind the orange soda in the front window.

    I haven't bought any Southside bread from City Noor, so I dunno how she's getting it. I just assumed she saw a void in the local market, and cannily chose to fill it. Has she always carried it?
  • Post #18 - October 3rd, 2005, 10:45 am
    Post #18 - October 3rd, 2005, 10:45 am Post #18 - October 3rd, 2005, 10:45 am
    m'th'su wrote:I haven't bought any Southside bread from City Noor, so I dunno how she's getting it. I just assumed she saw a void in the local market, and cannily chose to fill it. Has she always carried it?


    I think City Noor has carried it for a good while now, possibly for as long as I've been going there; I'm not sure, since I usually buy some of the special breads from Al Khayam, some of them still warm from the oven. But I do remember noting many moons ago that they had a brand I didn't recognise (and which I now suspect was Salaam).

    As a footnote to my original post in this thread: the halal Amish chicken we got at SM2 ended up being roasted with a stuffing of fresh herbs. The quality of the chicken itself was excellent (and the preparation wasn't too bad either).

    About the bottle of Nablus oil you got that was rancid: Unfortunately, there is something of a risk in buying Middle Eastern olive oils, it seems. I've had less than peek bottles of oil from Lebanon too, but I think the situation with Lebanese oils has improved in recent years.

    I also got a bottle of Tunisian oil at SM2 during my previous visit. It's good.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #19 - March 27th, 2006, 5:31 pm
    Post #19 - March 27th, 2006, 5:31 pm Post #19 - March 27th, 2006, 5:31 pm
    m'th'su wrote:he was now carrying his brother's bread, baked daily at Sahar Pita, adjoining Sahar Meat Market II.

    M'th'su,

    Sahar Pita morphed into Sahar Pita Restaurant which now, as in as of last week, has a new non-Sahar family member owner. At least that was my interpretation of my conversation with the new owner and a friend of his who was filling in as waitress.

    Ownership notwithstanding, Sahar Pita Restaurant was spot on today, juicy flavorful kefta kabob, lightly smokey baba ghannouj, full flavored hummus, fresh from the fryer falafel and strong Turkish style coffee Lunch included pea soup with a light, but distinctive, curry flavor, good rice and a generous portion of salad. Though I did not have my camera with me, Steve Z, who I had lunch with, took a couple of pictures.

    As an added bonus after lunch at Sahar Pita one can go a few doors South to Sahar Meats, so beautifully described up-thread by Antonius, along with the numerous other food oriented businesses in the busy strip mall.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Sahar Pita Restaurant
    4835 N Kedzie Ave
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-583-6695
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #20 - March 27th, 2006, 5:51 pm
    Post #20 - March 27th, 2006, 5:51 pm Post #20 - March 27th, 2006, 5:51 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Sahar Pita morphed into Sahar Pita Restaurant which now...


    Gary,

    Thanks for this breaking news! Not that I needed to have yet another Middle Eastern restaurant up at Kedzie and Lawrence that I like very much but visit too infrequently, but it sounds like SPR may just be one. Well, the more's the merrier. I'll be shopping up that way soon, either for Easter I or Easter II and will stop by SPR.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #21 - March 28th, 2006, 2:48 pm
    Post #21 - March 28th, 2006, 2:48 pm Post #21 - March 28th, 2006, 2:48 pm
    G Wiv wrote: Steve Z, who I had lunch with, took a couple of pictures.



    Here's a couple of shots from our delicious lunch yesterday

    Vegetarian Combo
    Image

    Kefta Kebob
    Image

    The Menu
    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #22 - March 28th, 2006, 10:41 pm
    Post #22 - March 28th, 2006, 10:41 pm Post #22 - March 28th, 2006, 10:41 pm
    m'th'su wrote:he was now carrying his brother's bread, baked daily at Sahar Pita, adjoining Sahar Meat Market II.


    G Wiv wrote:Sahar Pita morphed into Sahar Pita Restaurant which now, as in as of last week, has a new non-Sahar family member owner.



    Just just last week our old friend Muhammed told me it was all his brother's doing. Do you mean there's an additional owner or someone new altogether?
  • Post #23 - March 29th, 2006, 12:11 am
    Post #23 - March 29th, 2006, 12:11 am Post #23 - March 29th, 2006, 12:11 am
    m'th'su wrote:Just just last week our old friend Muhammed told me it was all his brother's doing. Do you mean there's an additional owner or someone new altogether?

    m'th'su,

    What I took away from my conversation with the owner of Sahar Pita Restaurant and his friend, who was filling in as waitress until he (David) could hire someone, was that he was the new, as in less than 1-week, owner, not an additional owner.

    Next time I'm there I will be sure to ask for clarification as the majority of this information was simply offered by the friendly friend/waitress, who was quite chatty. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - June 15th, 2006, 5:45 am
    Post #24 - June 15th, 2006, 5:45 am Post #24 - June 15th, 2006, 5:45 am
    LTH,

    Sahar has become a regular stop, thanks Antonius, and yesterday while picking up a few things I tried something new, at least new to me, double cream feta.* Lightly tangy, rich, with a dense, smooth more homogeneous texture than 'regular' feta. I highly recommend as a nice change of pace.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    * I'm 90% certain the Sahar counter man said the name was double cream.

    Sahar Meat Market II
    4829 North Kedzie
    Chicago, IL 60625
    Tel: 773.583.6098
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #25 - June 15th, 2006, 5:34 pm
    Post #25 - June 15th, 2006, 5:34 pm Post #25 - June 15th, 2006, 5:34 pm
    Gary,

    Double cream feta, hmm...?

    For years, I've been buying a really rich French feta, "Valbreso" brand, which I usually buy in a 600g can at Athens Market on Halsted. I've also seen smaller, cryovac portions for sale all over town. Eurofresh, out in Palatine, for one, comes to mind, and maybe some of the larger Polish deli's like Andy's. This particular feta might not be "double cream" but it's wonderfully rich and creamy.

    So...next time I'm down Kedzie way picking up some semolina cake, I'll have to check out Sahar. Thanks for the tip on the feta, Gary.

    :twisted:
  • Post #26 - June 26th, 2008, 4:34 pm
    Post #26 - June 26th, 2008, 4:34 pm Post #26 - June 26th, 2008, 4:34 pm
    Seeing Mike Sula's pick of Sahar as best Middle Eastern Grocery in the Reader's Best Of 2008 listings reminded me I meant to post Sahar currently has, at least as of a couple of days ago, green almonds on hand.

    Sahar (6.23.08)

    Image
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #27 - June 26th, 2008, 4:35 pm
    Post #27 - June 26th, 2008, 4:35 pm Post #27 - June 26th, 2008, 4:35 pm
    Gary,

    What does one do with green almonds?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #28 - June 26th, 2008, 11:20 pm
    Post #28 - June 26th, 2008, 11:20 pm Post #28 - June 26th, 2008, 11:20 pm
    stevez wrote:What does one do with green almonds?

    Steve,

    I simply open the slightly fuzzy, though surprisingly tough shell, with a paring knife and eat the almond out of hand. I'd describe the flavor as subtle, clean, vegetal leaning towards lettuce. From what I understand there are a number of stages including very young when the nut inside the shell is barely encapsulated jelly and you can eat the entire nut, outer shell and all. I'd guess Sahar's are mid stage, closer to mature than immature.

    Green almonds were $2 per lb at Sahar, certainly worth a couple of buck flyer to try.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #29 - November 30th, 2008, 10:43 pm
    Post #29 - November 30th, 2008, 10:43 pm Post #29 - November 30th, 2008, 10:43 pm
    stevez wrote:Gary,

    What does one do with green almonds?


    Green almonds are great pickled, but at the point when they are young enough to eat whole. A brine that is not overly vinegary and definitely not sweet is best suited to their clean, refreshing taste.

    Maybe next season, eh?
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #30 - May 9th, 2011, 4:28 pm
    Post #30 - May 9th, 2011, 4:28 pm Post #30 - May 9th, 2011, 4:28 pm
    The Sahar Meat Market recently moved within the same shopping center into the space formerly occupied by Clark Market. A peripheral mention by m'th'su in the Sanabel Bakery thread reminded me that nobody has updated the Sahar thread yet.

    The name has been changed to Sahar International SuperMarket according to my receipt. They have added a lot of packaged groceries and even some fresh produce. A quick review of the packaged goods shows a selection approaching that at Sanabel. There are multiple types of feta. We bought some Bulgarian sheep feta at what I remember was comparable for Bulgarian cow feta at HarvesTime. Unfortunately, a drop of water obliterated the price on our receipt.

    Sahar International SuperMarket
    4851-57 N. Kedzie Ave.
    773-583-6098

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